miller's pond

Spring/Summer, 2004
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Volume 7, Issue 2, Web Edition
Poets in the pond:
Bruce Niedt Rosemarie Crisafi Ann Lederer

Pleasures of the Flower Show

Maybe the message wasn’t wholly intentional, 
but there it is, in all its suggestive glory: 
the program brochure, 

color photo of an orchid, 
very vaginal, white labial petals 
enclosing moist pink inside, 

close-up, like those O’Keefe canvasses, 
and the title above: 
“Pleasures of the Flower Show."

This festival of fecundity, 
this flurry of flora and perfumes, 
could work its magic, like an ancient earth goddess. 

Imagine a Main Line dowager, 
her Panama-hatted husband in tow, 
browsing the peonies and pergolas. 

Suddenly she pulls him off the concourse, 
and they clinch behind 
the Japanese rock garden. 

Unzipping him, she finds his Johnny Jump-up, 
hikes up her skirt, and shows him 
how much fun an orchid still can be.

- Bruce Niedt

Bruce W. Niedt is a "beneficent bureaucrat" and family man from 
southern NJ.  His poetry has appeared in Writers' Journal, Red River 
Review, The Fairfield Review, Edison Literary Review, Samsara Quarterly, and 
Mad Poets Review, among others.  He also has won first prize in the ByLine 
 Magazine 2003 Short Fiction and Poetry Awards Contest. For information on Bruce's self-produced chapbook, A Slip of the Gears, contact him at

Note.  Due to the effects of pesticides, peregrine falcon eggshells are thin
and fragile and therefore, often fracture prematurely resulting in the
endangerment of the peregrine falcon.

Hawk Watch

A woodpecker beats dead oak as I climb.
Boots pound a steel bridge. Iced needles crack.
Frost- burdened branches of mountain ash snap
amid pitch pines on Millbrook Ridge.
While Hudson Highlands doze, Wallkill River stirs.
With wide eyes, I kneel under a stone face.
Wintergreen creeps as I hesitate
in a cathedral of crags and moonlight.
A map points to heaven. When eggshells fracture
black wings spread. A mustached mate soars
As morning empties into a frozen vale.
A red-tailed hawk circles above.

- Rosemarie Crisafi

Rosemarie Crisafi lives in Wappingers Falls, New York. She works in White Plains, New York for a non-for-profit agency that serves individuals with disabilities.  Contact her at:

By the Signs                                                                                                
There must be planning,
          checking the milk supply,
As the moon is ringed and full,
          a portent for moisture yet to come.
Within one certainty, a variability.
          What is is probably what is meant to be.
Here, rain, unwavering,
          freer of implications.
Home, it will be snow, 
         silence ominously piling
like castles transformed into museums,
         mementos pulsing into artifacts.

Creeping Charlie                                                                             
This is a mint, I said to Dad
as we walked in his yard.
The stem is square.
The leaf is aromatic
when you crush it.
And its dense, retiring flowers
are almost always shades of blue.
This weed, said Dad, 
is Creeping Charlie.
I'll dig you up some if you like it.
It spreads like The Devil.
There's a chemical to slow it.
The mint now sits with my houseplants:
Yard weed, curving like ivy, Creeping Charlie.

 Of light, 
so late.
Finally, something close
to joy.
Mowing into dusk. 
Mushrooms at tree stumps 
shredded into the hay.
At the borders,
cut mint.
- Ann Lederer
Ann Neuser Lederer was born in Ohio and has lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky as a nurse.  Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Wind, Cross Connect, 2 River View, Kalliope, Moria, Brevity, and others. Her chapbooks, Approaching Freeze, (Foothills) and The Undifferentiated (Pudding House) were released in 2003.  Visit her website at:

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